The Cycle Of Pain And Your Total Body
Are you one of the 100 million Americans living with chronic pain, which is a persistent pain that generally lasts weeks, months, or even years? Perhaps you’ve suffered an acute injury and would like to prevent it from becoming a chronic pain? If so, it’s important to understand how pain develops, worsens, and improves and how holistic treatment approaches through chiropractic services can help you develop a comprehensive treatment plan for your entire body.
Despite chronic pain being the number one cause of disability in America, suffers often find themselves at a narrow medical roadblock when it comes to standard methods of prevention,
management, and elimination. Traditional options generally boil down to two choices. You can take prescription medications, which often bring with them a plethora of unwanted negative side effects, or you can undergo invasive, risky, and iffy surgeries.
The above lack of choices in traditional medicine has led many pain sufferers to wonder if there is an alternative healthcare choice for their pain. There is, and it’s called chiropractic care. Today, chiropractics is the most popular and widely used of the holistic health treatments. It’s a medical niche that focuses on the whole body as a conduit for healing so that the root cause, not mere symptom, of pain can be treated at its origin.
Take a look at that last statement closely. Pain is a symptom. It has a cause and purpose. It’s purpose is communication. Pain is your body’s way of alerting you that it’s in crisis. When treatment is aimed at merely masking that pain, the root problem (crisis) continues to exist and go unaddressed. And, it often doesn’t just continue as an isolated entity. It can spread through the kinetic chain to multiple secondary structures and areas of the body. The result is often lost work, forced lifestyle changes, inability to complete activities of daily living, and undue misery and suffering.
Your body is its own guide to your health and breaking the cycle of pain. Chiropractic services just help enable that path to become crystal clear and for you to follow the natural promptings your body is already offering as a roadmap to its well-being. This involves head to toe wellness. Are you ready to get started?
Life Force Chiropractic believes that true total body wellness is more than a privilege for the select few. It’s everyone’s right to live up to their own full health potential, and they offer this guide to help you understand and facilitate that right. Let’s look at the head to toe of pain and how chiropractic services facilitate head to toe wellness.
Head To Toe Wellness Guide For Your Pain
1. Chiropractic Neck Pain Relief
The kinetic chain means that the source of your neck pain may cause strain to the surrounding structures and ultimately travel away from the source as nearby body parts, such as the shoulders and back, try to compensate for your neck pain.
Beyond the above chain and pain itself, your neck pain can lead to an array of health issues. Neck pain sufferers frequently report insomnia and headaches. Of course, these sleepless nights increase your risk for distraction-related accidents and injuries, disease, and even early death. There’s also the fact that neck pain can limit how/if you perform professional and personal daily activities.
Chiropractics can help you address the source of your neck pain so that the above chain of pain is broken and relief is found. Your chiropractor addresses issues like your sleep position and pillow to help you return to a good night’s rest.
Are you wondering what sleep position is best for neck pain?
Whether you sleep on your side or back, the best sleep position still mimics good upright posture and keeps your head in a neutral position. Be careful to neither hyper-flex nor hyper-extend your head too far forward/backwards if you’re a back-sleeper. It’s the same for side-sleepers with unnaturally tilting the head too far downward or upward. The prolonged static rotation of the neck involved with stomach-sleeping makes it a very poor sleeping position. You can help prevent inadvertently rolling to your stomach by sleeping with a body pillow in front of you. If you still find yourself frequently waking up on your stomach, then it’s a good move to support your neck by sleeping on a pillow thin enough to keep your neck at neutral.
Are you wondering if the material of your pillow plays a role in neck pain?
There’s a lot of choice for your pillows – foam, water, feathers, buckwheat, and all sorts of other stuffings. There’s no definitive “x is the best pillow.” Your chiropractor will look at a number of personal health and individual musculoskeletal factors to help you determine the best pillow choice for your sleep and neck pain.
Pillow selection is complicated. While memory foam contours well to the neck, it can be an unwelcome source of heat and allergy-triggering odors. Latex foam offers the same contouring without heat and odors and is resistant to dust mites and mold, but it could be a problem for those with a latex allergy. Buckwheat is cool, but it’s a rather noisy material option. Feathers tend to spread out during sleep, which may leave you in an undesirable position.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider in how you sleep as it applies to neck pain. Your chiropractor can help you sort out all the pros and cons of each sleep position, pillow, and mattress option as it applies to your body’s unique needs. Together, you’ll come up with a comprehensive plan to address all your sleep needs and improve the quality of your sleep with techniques like proper nutrition, environment controls, setting schedules, and so forth.
2. Chiropractic Back Pain Relief
Low back pain is the most common type of chronic pain. It can disrupt sleep; interfere with daily function; lower your quality and longevity of life; cause a kinetic chain of pain and weakness in the legs, arms, shoulders, and neck; and the resulting mobility limitations often spur feelings of depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal.
Back pain can be from an acute injury, such as a fall, car accident, sports injury, or workplace injury. It can also be the cumulative effect of prolonged overuse and repetitive movement. In either case, without adjustments to lifestyle and environment, you’ll likely find yourself with chronic back pain.
A chiropractor can help you address the common ways you use your back day-to-day and the changes that can make a big difference in your back pain and repair, such as:
Evaluating Your Posture
Check your stance randomly throughout the day as you go about washing dishes, brushing your teeth, using the toilet, applying makeup/shaving, folding laundry, bathing, mowing the yard, cleaning, cooking, and so forth. Ask yourself:
- How are you standing?
- Are you using proper body mechanics to lift and pull?
- Are you slumping and hunching?
- Are you leaning, bending, or twisting into unnatural positions?
- Are you rigid and tense or in a semi-flexed state?
- Are you bending your knees and keeping your feet under your shoulders when lifting?
- Do you stretch in the morning and before strenuous activity?
Years of seemingly tiny moments of poor and unnatural postures add up to create pressure on and injury to the spine. If you work outside the home, you can do the same assessment with your work environment. Don’t forget to look at both sitting and standing body mechanics.
Your chiropractor can do a total assessment of your spine health so that a comprehensive plan can be developed to prevent further injury and manage the damage already done to your back. Learning proper body mechanics for sitting, standing, and action movements is a key ingredient to your total body wellness. You’ll also gain invaluable spine health practices and exercises from your chiropractor.
Engaging In Consistency
With workplaces and sports increasingly enacting wellness programs with a focus on spinal health, you’re likely already somewhat familiar with what you should be doing to prevent back injuries. The problem often comes in consistency with these supportive practices.
Between family, social, and work obligations, most people have very busy and demanding lifestyles. There’s a rush to get tasks done the most quick and easy way possible, and the sacrifice to long-term health and musculoskeletal health is out-of-sight-out-of-mind. Core strengthening, stretching, posture, body mechanics, nutrition, and chiropractic services become sporadic endeavors to deal with pain flares instead of consistent practices.
If you paid no attention to what you ate and drank for 29 of 30 days and consumed anything and everything you wanted, could you achieve an ideal body weight by eating a balanced meal on day 30? Likely not, right? Well, your spinal health is the same brand of consistency. A commitment to consistent measures to maintain and improve your spinal health is one of the very best ways to achieve total body wellness with chiropractic services.
Another caveat of your spinal health comes from respecting your physical limitations. Whether it be from excessive wear and tear on the back leading to spinal disease processes or the natural wear and tear of age limiting what your body can sustain, back pain makes it a must to respect and listen to the cues your body is sending you to slow down and do tasks in a more healthy and adjusted way. Your chiropractor can help you develop a plan to cover your necessary and elective physical activities, which helps to ensure your tasks are done in the most spine-friendly and efficient manner.
3. Chiropractic Foot Pain Relief
If you think about it, your feet get the raw end of the deal when it comes to body parts. They’re the foundation of your total body. This complex system of bones and soft tissues support all your weight and take the initial impact of most every move you make. As such, your feet are likely to experience pain if you take them for granted. When your feet hurt, almost every activity of daily life gets impacted by a lack of mobility. Yet, most people don’t pay a lot of mind to their feet until they begin to hurt.
While overuse and mechanical injuries are always a possibility, there are a number of personal lifestyle choices that make a big difference in the health and well-being of your feet. These choices often start with shoe selection.
Wearing shoes that are too narrow or wide, too short or long, too high, unsupportive, or all around ill-fitting are all common sources of foot pain. Such choices lead to an array of painful foot problems, including:
- Arch issues
- Plantar fasciitis
- Hammer toe
- Morton’s neuroma
- Ankle sprains and strains
- Bone spurs
- Tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Stress fractures
What’s worse is that the kinetic effect of foot problems and injuries can extend to the entire lower body as nerves, ligaments, tendons, and bones try to compensate for the pain in the feet. Foot pain also impacts your gait, or the way you walk, and your posture in general. In turn, you may experience hip, back, and neck pain as a result of your initial foot pain. It’s a domino effect that can be a forced lifestyle changer without proper intervention.
Do keep in mind that foot pain doesn’t exclude children. A common source of foot pain in children, particularly athletic children, is Sever’s disease. This causes the heel’s calcaneal apophysis growth plate to become painfully swollen. It’s typically the result of small repetitive trauma from the pull of the Achilles tendons on the apophysis.
Chiropractic services can help you learn how to care for your feet the right way and give them the support they need to painlessly carry you through each step of life. Remember to discuss any pain in your hips, back, and neck with your chiropractor to determine if it’s a separate issue or secondary to your foot pain.
In closing, the goal of chiropractic practice is always to create a better quality of living for people suffering with pain and in hope of finding options that replace/supplement standard medical practices. That goal is accomplished by a number of chiropractic measures aimed at addressing your body’s natural and complete health, not just a singular symptom your body is using to get your attention. Schedule an appointment with one of Life Force Chiropractic’s professional team of chiropractors today and let your journey to health and wellness start with our gentle helping hands.